Wikipedia:Wiki Ed/University of Washington/Ocean 410 and ESS 410 Marine Geology and Geophysics (Spring 2018)

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Course name
Ocean 410 and ESS 410 Marine Geology and Geophysics
University of Washington
William Wilcock
Content Expert
Ian (Wiki Ed)
Marine geology and geophysics
Course dates
2018-03-26 00:00:00 UTC – 2018-06-15 23:59:59 UTC
Approximate number of student editors

This class will explore the dynamic processes responsible for the formation, evolution and destruction of ocean plates.

Student Assigned Reviewing
BenEmC Interplate earthquake
Connerlaursen Pitcairn Hotspot
ErraticGeologist Nazca Ridge Mariana Plate, ridge push
Neo Culture Technology Aleutian Subduction Zone
Wünderbrot Rainbow Vent Field
Sarcastaball Easter Plate
Bing Y. Lee Propagating rifts Pitcairn Hotspot, Japan Trench
Beauh2 Mariana Plate
DGShanks Shetland Plate
KAlder10 Japan Trench
Jalyn Buckley Molucca Sea Plate
Tenzinsonam995 Bed (geology)
Rmscott2019 Moab Fault Moab Fault
Seiji34 Ridge push


Week 1

Course meetings
Tuesday, 27 March 2018   |   Thursday, 29 March 2018
In class - Introduction to the Wikipedia project

Welcome to the Wikipedia project timeline for Ocean/ESS 410. This page will guide you through the Wikipedia project for this course and will be complementary to the UW Canvas site for Ocean/ESS 410.

The instructor will attempt to cross-reference all Wikipedia assignments on the class Canvas webpage but it is the students responsibility to check both.  If you see an upcoming assignment that is not on the Canvas Page, please e-mail the instructor so that he can update it.  

Please also note that this is the second time the instructor has used Wikipedia in a class, and so the content of this page will evolve during the class.  However, all assignments will be finalized at least a week in advance of the due date.

This page breaks down writing a Wikipedia article into a series of steps, or milestones. These steps include online trainings to help you get started on Wikipedia. 

Your course has also been assigned a Wikipedia Content Expert. Check your Talk page for notes from them. You can also reach them through the "Get Help" button on this page. 

 To get started, please review the following handouts: 

Assignment - Practicing the basics
  • Create an account and join this course page, using the enrollment link your instructor sent you.  Before creating an account please read Wikipedia's guidance on the choice of usernames. If your username identifies you, you are unlikely to be harassed for what you write in this class because marine geology and geophysics is not very controversial, but you there will be a permanent record identifying you as a participant in this class and identifying the web page you produced.
  •  It's time to dive into Wikipedia. Below, you'll find the first set of online trainings you'll need to take. New modules will appear on this timeline as you get to new milestones. Be sure to check back and complete them! Incomplete trainings will be reflected in your grade. 
  •  When you finish the trainings, practice by introducing yourself to a classmate on that classmate’s Talk page. 
Assignment - Critique articles

It's time to think critically about Wikipedia articles. You'll evaluate a Wikipedia article, and leave suggestions for improving it on the article's Talk page. 

  • While you read, and consider some questions (but don't feel limited to these and some may not be so relevant to these articles): 
    • Is each fact referenced with an appropriate, reliable reference?
    • Is everything in the article relevant to the article topic? Is there anything that distracted you?
    • Is the article neutral? Are there any claims, or frames, that appear heavily biased toward a particular position?
    • Where does the information come from? Are these neutral sources?
    • Are there sub-topics that are overrepresented, underrepresented or missing?
    • Do the illustrations and images add to the article and are there illustrations/images that could be usefully added?
    • Check a few citations. Do the links work? Is there any close paraphrasing or plagiarism in the article?
    • Is any information out of date? Is anything missing that could be added?
    • Check the "talk" page - what conversation is the Wikipedia community having behind the scenes about how to represent these topics? 
    • What is the article rated? 
    • How does the way these subjects are discussed on Wikipedia differ from how they have been discussed in your prior Earth Science classes? 
  • EXTRA CREDIT: Choose at least 2 questions relevant to ONE of the articles you're evaluating. Leave your evaluation on the article's Talk page. Be sure to sign your feedback with four tildes — Ian (Wiki Ed) (talk) 15:03, 11 June 2018 (UTC). 

This week, everyone should have a Wikipedia account.

Week 2

Course meetings
Tuesday, 3 April 2018   |   Thursday, 5 April 2018
Assignment - Add to an article

The goal of this exercise is to familiarize yourself with editing Wikipedia by adding or modifying a sentence or two of content and adding a citation.

On Wikipedia you will find numerous articles that are reasonably in depth but include insufficient citations to support the content.  These articles are often flagged with
"This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed."
"This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. Please help to improve this article by introducing more precise citations."

Two flagged examples that are very relevant to our class are 

On Wikipedia you will also find many articles that designated as stubs and flagged with
"This article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.". 

A couple of examples of features in the Juan de Fuca Plate Region are:

You can find lists of stubs

In browsing Wikipedia you can also find articles that appear to be stubs, or barely much more, but which are not flagged as such.

For this assignment

  • Complete the training on Sources and Citations
  • Add or modify 1-2 sentences in a course-related stub of your choice (i.e., a stub that is related to marine geology and geophysics) and cite that statement to a reliable source, as you learned in the online training. 
  • EXTRA CREDIT: Add a citation with text modifications as necessary to an article that is already quite long but needs additional citations.
In class - Discussion
Content Gaps and Bias?

GRADED AS PART OF "In class activities"

Now that you have started thinking about what makes a "good" Wikipedia article, consider some additional questions. 

  • Wikipedians often talk about "content gaps." What do you think a content gap is, and what are some possible ways to identify them?
  • What are some reasons a content gap might arise? What are some ways to remedy them?
  • Does it matter who writes Wikipedia?
  • What does it mean to be "unbiased" on Wikipedia?  How is bias in Wikipedia different, or similar, to your own definition of "bias"?
  • Does bias even apply to uncontroversial science topics or is it more of an issue in other fields?  

Week 3

Course meetings
Tuesday, 10 April 2018   |   Thursday, 12 April 2018
Assignment - Choose your topic

It's time to choose an article and assign it to yourself and work hard to find a good set of sources for the article.  

In this class we are going to focus on expanding short or stub articles on geological features in the oceans or on geological/geophysical processes that impact the ocean basins.

  • Make sure your stub is related to Marine Geology and Geophysics - if you are unsure check with the instructor or the TA

  • Before you finalize  your selection, I strongly recommend that you do a literature search on your preferred selection (look at the Choose your Topic assignment in Week 4).  Can you find
    • Journal articles that are comprehensible to you.
    • Journal articles that can be found on the accessible web (open source or posted on a non-subscription website). 
    • Non-journal sources (web pages, news articles, magazine articles) help balance the article citations are are great if you can find them.

  • Assign yourself your article and head to the Students tab above and assign it to yourself.

  • In your sandbox, write a few sentences about what you plan to contribute to the selected article. 
    • Think back to when you did an article critique. What can you add? Post some of your ideas to the article's talk page. 
In class - Discussion
Thinking about sources and plagiarism

GRADED AS PART OF "In class activities"

It is important to consider the quality of  your sources when writing any article.

  • Blog posts and press releases are considered poor sources of reliable information. Why?
  • What are some reasons you might not want to use a company's website as the main source of information about that company?
  • How might you determine if a web site is a reliable source of information?

Plagiarism is discussed quite well in the UW's statement on Student Academic Responsibility.  You should read this because in the instructors experience most instances of plagiarism are related to students not understanding the rules rather than setting out to cheat.  

  • What is the difference between a copyright violation and plagiarism?
  • If you search on the web you will see it is common to classify plagiarism.  What are the different types of plagiarism and are some more serious that others? 
  • What are some good techniques to avoid close paraphrasing and plagiarism?

Everyone has selected the topic for their Wikipedia article

Week 4

Course meetings
Tuesday, 17 April 2018   |   Thursday, 19 April 2018
In class - Discussion
Thinking about Wikipedia

GRADED AS PART OF "In class activities"

  • What do you think of Wikipedia's definition of "neutrality"?
  • What are the impacts and limits of Wikipedia as a source of information?
  • On Wikipedia, all material must be attributable to reliable, published sources. What kinds of sources does this exclude? Can you think of any problems that might create?
  • If Wikipedia was written 100 years ago, how might its content (and contributors) be different? What about 100 years from now?
Assignment - Choose your sources.

Compile a list of at least 6 relevant, reliable books, journal articles, and other sources such as reputable web sites or news articles.  

Ideally you want to mix journal articles and other sources.

Post that bibliography to the talk page of the article you'll be working on, and in your sandbox and for each article list one fact for your article that the source can be used as to support.

Make sure to check in on the Talk page to see if anyone has advice on your bibliography.

Extra credit for identifying more sources (up to 10).


Everyone has at least 6 sources that will be cited in their article

Week 5

Course meetings
Tuesday, 24 April 2018   |   Thursday, 26 April 2018
Assignment - Draft your article - Part 1

GRADED TOGETHER WITH NEXT WEEK'S "EXPAND YOUR DRAFT" ASSIGNMENT except if you have made no progress by the end of the week you will loose points.

Creating a new article or expanding a stub?

  •  Write an outline of that topic in the form of a standard Wikipedia article's "lead section." Write it in your sandbox
    •  A "lead" section is not a traditional introduction. It should summarize, very briefly, what the rest of the article will say in detail. The first paragraph should include important, broad facts about the subject. A good example is Ada Lovelace. See Editing Wikipedia page 9 for more ideas. 
  • Add your planned section headings to your sandbox article.  Keep reading your sources add notes to each section and the appropriate citations, that you can expand into text.

Improving an existing article?

  • If you starting with an article that is more than a stub, Identify what's missing from the current form of the article. Think back to the skills you learned while critiquing an article. Make notes for improvement in your sandbox
    • Update the "lead" section to that is matches your planned improvements.
  • Identify the sections in your revised article and start to add notes, text and citations as your read your sources.

You may need to find additional sources

Resources: Editing Wikipedia pages 7–9


Everyone has begun writing their article drafts.

Week 6

Course meetings
Tuesday, 1 May 2018   |   Thursday, 3 May 2018
Assignment - In-class presentation

You will have 5-6 minutes to present, followed by 2-3 minutes for discussion, to introduce your topic and your wikipedia page plans.  Your presentation, which is probably best in PowerPoint unless you want to use the board, will

  1. Provide a brief overview of your topic
    1. What is your topic?
    2. Why does it interest you
    3. What are the key facts and ideas you have learned so far
  2. Wikipedia article
    1. Why is it worthy of a Wikipedia page
    2. Describe the organization of your wikipedia page
      1. What sections have you chosen and why?
    3. What topics do you still need to research
  3. Describe you sources?  Where they hard to find?  Did you find sources outside the peer-reviewed journal literature?  Are you still in need of sources on some topics?
  4. What are your plans for completing the article.

We will then have 2-3 minutes for discussion and class feedback and your active participation in this part will be part of the grade

Remember you can use images in your presentation even if they cannot be placed in Wikipedia article because of copyright issues.

Assignment - Draft your article - Part 2

This is a big week because you will be doing class presentations and finishing your first draft.

  • Keep working on transforming your article into a complete first draft. Get draft ready for peer-review. 
  • If you'd like a Content Expert to review your draft, now is the time! Click the "Get Help" button in your sandbox to request notes.

EXTRA CREDIT (now or later): Take the Contributing Images and Media Files training and add one or more images to your article


Week 7

Course meetings
Tuesday, 8 May 2018   |   Thursday, 10 May 2018
Assignment - Respond to Instructor Reviews


You have been working hard on your article.  During this week you will get reviews from both the instructor and the TA and the goal is to respond to these in as much depth as you can so that you have a well formed draft ready for peer review in week 8


Week 8

Course meetings
Tuesday, 15 May 2018   |   Thursday, 17 May 2018
In class - Discussion
Peer Review

GRADED AS PART OF "In class activities"
Which is more helpful to a writer - a critical or an uncritical review?
Which is more helpful to a writer - a constructive or an unconstructive review?
What are the essential elements of a thorough peer review?
What is copy editing?  Why is it important?

Assignment - Peer review and copy edit

  • First, take the "Peer Review" online training.
  • Talk to the instructor or the TA and we will assign you two of your classmates articles that are ready for peer review and copyedit.  
  • Peer review your classmates' drafts. Leave suggestions on on the Talk page of the article, or sandbox, that your fellow student is working on. Other editors may be reviewing your work, so look for their comments! Be sure to acknowledge feedback from other Wikipedians. 
  •  As you review, make spelling, grammar, and other adjustments. Pay attention to the tone of the article. Is it encyclopedic? 

Every student has finished reviewing their assigned articles, making sure that every article has been reviewed.

Week 9

Course meetings
Tuesday, 22 May 2018   |   Thursday, 24 May 2018
Assignment - Add Image(s) to your article

Your article we be better if you include one or more relevant Images.

  • Before you start, review the Illustrating Wikipedia handbook, or see Editing Wikipedia pages 10–11.
  • When you've reviewed those pages, take the training linked below.
  • When you're ready to start finding images, remember: Never grab images you find through an image search, or those found on Instagram, Tumblr, Reddit, Imgur, or even so-called "Free image" or "free stock photo" websites. Instead, you'll want to find images with clear proof that the creator has given permission to use their work. Many of these images can be found
  • Don't just upload an image to Wikipedia. Instead, upload it to Wikipedia's sister site for images, Wikimedia Commons. For instructions, read through the Illustrating Wikipedia handbook.

For articles on a specific feature in the oceans, it is often good to create a map and annotate it.  You can do this using GeoMapApp, some free software that allows you to create a map of a portion o the ocean and then your favorite photo/image editing tool to add annotations.  Maps you create with GeoMapApp meet the copyright requirements for posting on Wikipedia.

Assignment - Respond to Student Peer Review & Move your article to Wikipedia Proper


  • Read Editing Wikipedia pages 12 and 14.
  • Return to your draft or article and think about the suggestions. Decide which ones to start implementing. Reach out to your instructor or your Content Expert if you have any questions. 
  • Work hard to address your peer reviewers' comments and use the Talk page to explain your reasons for not implementing suggestions you decide to ignore.

Once you've made improvements to your article based on peer review feedback, it's time to move your work to Wikipedia proper - the "mainspace." 

  • Editing an existing article?
    • NEVER copy and paste your draft of an article over the entire article. Instead, edit small sections at a time.
    • Copy your edits into the article. Make many small edits, saving each time, and leaving an edit summary. Never replace more than one to two sentences without saving!
  • Creating a new article?
    • Read Editing Wikipedia page 13, and follow those steps to move your article from your Sandbox to Mainspace.
    • You can also review the [[../../../training/students/sandboxes|Sandboxes and Mainspace]] online training.

Do additional research and writing to make further improvements to your article, based on suggestions and your own critique.

  • Read Editing Wikipedia page 12 to see how to create links from your article to others, and from other articles to your own. Try to link to 3–5 articles, and link to your article from 2–3 other articles. 
  • Continue to expand and improve your work, and format your article to match Wikipedia's tone and standards. 
  • Remember to contact your Content Expert at any time if you need further help! 

Week 10

Course meetings
Tuesday, 29 May 2018   |   Thursday, 31 May 2018
Assignment - Final article

It's the final week to develop your article.

  • Read Editing Wikipedia page 15 to review a final check-list before completing your assignment.
  • Don't forget that you can ask for help from your Content Expert at any time!

Everyone should have finished all of the work they'll do on Wikipedia, and be ready for grading.